Yes, you read the title correctly. For many, the mention of marijuana (cannabis) conjures up pictures of the 1960’s when the nightly news flourished with pictures of Woodstock and the hippie movement known for excessive marijuana use. However, with the approval of medical marijuana in 1996 by the state of California, we have moved forward as research continues to confirm the many medicinal benefits of marijuana especially the chemical compound cannabidiol (CBD). Since 1996, 22 more states, the District of Columbia and Guam have enacted similar laws.
One term that most recognize in conjunction with cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” or stoned feeling. However, cannabis does contain another, often overlooked, chemical compound called Cannabidiol (CBD) which has been proven medically to help relieve irritation, convulsions, nausea, as well as inhibit cancer cell growth. Many indicate that cannabidiol helps with pain relief.
Cannabidiol is not a pharmaceutical, but is better termed as a Nutraceutical. Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources purported to provide extra health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. The best medical value of cannabis may be in the use of it as a nutritional adjunct. When eaten or juiced raw and unheated, cannabis provides acid varieties of the cannabinoids that have additional amazing medical value but don’t get you high. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that doesn’t affect the mind or behavior. It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, relaxation, joint relief and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.
Cannabidiol from Industrial Hemp
There’s been much debate suggesting that CBD derived from industrial hemp has the same properties as cannabis-derived CBD, making it a potential alternative for patients who can’t legally access medical marijuana but can legally acquire hemp-derived CBD products. A lot of people aren’t entirely familiar with hemp-derived CBD, however. Below are some facts about CBD derived from industrial hemp:
- Agricultural hemp and medical marijuana both come from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant.
- Agricultural hemp, which is often referred to as “hemp stalk,” grows differently than THC-containing cannabis, and looks similar to bamboo.
- THC-producing marijuana plants are grown to an average of five feet in height, spaced six to eight feet apart. Agricultural hemp is grown to a height of 10 to 15 feet or more before harvest, placed three to six inches apart.
- Hemp has little potential to produce high-content THC when pollinated.
- As long as agricultural hemp plants are pollinated by members of their own crop, the genetics will remain similar with low levels of THC.
- There is a strong legal argument that production and distribution of CBD oils/products derived from imported raw material industrial hemp is not a violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA); in fact, one Colorado law firm has published a written opinion making the case.
It is interesting to note that the drugs oxycodone, fentanyl, and meperidine (Demerol), among the most commonly abused opioids and leading causes of opioid overdose deaths, are only considered Schedule II drugs, which means, in a technical sense, they are less dangerous than marijuana. Until recently, Vicodin (opiod) was classified as a Schedule III substance, which by definition are “drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Use of Vicodin grew from 112 million doses prescribed in 2006 to 131 million in 2011, according to a survey by IMS Health. To its credit, the FDA has recently announced its intention to reclassify hydrocodone-containing painkillers from Schedule III to Schedule II drugs.
Cannabidiol oil, from industrial hemp plants, is a different story. The United States FDA considers hemp oil (and its derivative CBD) as a dietary supplement because it is formulated from industrial hemp plants and not the marijuana plant. Cannabidiol from industrial hemp also has the added benefit of having virtually no THC. This is the reason that it’s not possible to get “high” from cannabidiol oil. There simply isn’t enough THC. Even though the cannabidiol oils that are now being marketed contain a low-level of cannaabidiol, there are many anecdotal health testimonies coming from the use of cannabidiol oil.
Those that oppose cannabis for medicinal purposes argue that the plant must be subjected to the same standards of clinical study and FDA review as conventional medicines. What is usually not brought out is that cannabis and its active components have already been subjected to a greater degree of scientific scrutiny than many FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.
The first experiment documenting cannabinoid anti-tumor effects took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest of the U.S. government. The results of that study, reported in an August 18, 1974 Washington Post newspaper feature showed that marijuana “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice and prolonged their lives by as much as 36%.”
Researchers at the University of Milan in Naples, Italy reported in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana inhibited the growth of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner, and selectively targeted and killed malignant cells through apoptosis. “Non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol) produces a significant anti-tumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”
Cannabis has been found effective in relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Cannabidiol (CBD) arrested the onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD (non-obese diabetes-prone) mice in a 2007 study.
In 2006 researchers at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem reported that injections of 5 mg per day of CBD (10-20 injections) significantly reduced the prevalence of diabetes in mice from an incidence of 86% in non-treated controls to an incidence of only 30%.
CBD significantly lowers plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines (proteins), INF-gamma and TNF-alpha, and significantly reduced the severity of insulitis compared to non-treated controls.
CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, sedative and neuro-protective actions. It is also a potent anti-oxidant, protecting against chemical damage due to oxidation. Studies have suggested that CBD could protect against the development of diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, brain and nerve damage due to stroke, alcoholism, nausea, inflammatory bowel disease and Huntington’s disease. Medicine just does not get any better.
CBD can also be used to make topical creams to help relieve neuropathic pain and tingling in hands and feet. Cannabis helps still diabetic “restless leg syndrome” (RLS), and when used with magnesium helps people sleep better.
A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research by scientists from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem explains that one of marijuana’s non-psychotropic component cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), significantly enhanced the healing process of lab rats with mid-femoral (thighbone) fractures. The same team, in earlier research, discovered that cannabinoid receptors within our bodies stimulated bone formation and inhibited bone loss. This paves the way for the future use of cannabinoid drugs to combat osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. According to Dr. Yankel Gabet of the Bone Research Laboratory at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, the human body is naturally equipped with a cannabinoid system that regulates both vital and non-vital systems including the skeleton. “We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant,” he said.
NIH-funded and other researchers are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment. For instance, recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation (Scott, 2014).
Some marijuana advocacy websites have even compiled a useful list of marijuana studies.
Some Great Benefits of Organic Hemp Extract
1. Encourages a Sense of Calmness
Hemp can help you stay focused and calm during your every day activities or to relax at the end of the day. Feeling more peaceful and happy is also a great benefit of hemp.
The hemp plant includes over 100 phytocannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system, a physiological system that keeps your body processes in balance — known as homeostasis. The naturally-occurring cannabinoids in hemp interact with endocannabinoid receptors, boosting brain and nerve health. By directly supporting brain and nerve cells, hemp and the phytocannabinoids it offers can play an essential role in your mental well-being.
CBD (cannabidiol), one of the important components of hemp, can help you to relax without feeling cloudy or spacy.
2. Helps With Restful Sleep
If you often have difficulty getting into a deep, restful sleep – hemp can help. Using an organic hemp extract during the day can help you stay alert and focused and at night experience restful sleep.
Some people like to take hemp products a couple of hours before bed because it can actually increase alertness for a while but then leads to deep, full-body relaxation.
Try adding a full spectrum hemp product to your sleep routine. Full spectrum means that all hemp’s natural phytocannabinoids — including CBD, CBG, and even a little THC — plus terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, fatty acids, proteins, and other synergistic metabolites are contained within. These compounds work together better than any single-ingredient product can — you’ll sleep like a baby.
3. Tones-Down Joint Irritation, Aches and Soreness
Many experience joint irritation, muscle tension, or general aches and pains. A powerful, high-quality full-spectrum hemp extract can help tone-down joint irritation, aches and soreness.
CBD and other cannabinoids, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), influence a healthy response to inflammation, which gives comfort for the swelling in your joints. Many people experiencing joint irritation have found hemp products to help enormously. Hemp has the ability to safely bring relief for systemic swelling and redness.
While hemp contains very low levels of THC — below 0.3 percent in the U.S. — even that low amount in a full spectrum product can help soothe chronic body discomfort.
4. Encourages Healthy Skin
Great news for women and men. The cannabinoids in hemp show great potential for promoting healthy skin! Hemp may help your skin to become less oily which may, in turn, help with skin issues such as acne. Cannabidiol shows the ability to reduce the secretions of sebocytes which are skin cells that produce fat or oil.
Hemp also contains high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as many other health-supporting vitamins and nutrients. Because healthy fats are the building blocks of your skin’s surface layers, they play a crucial role in your skin health. Consuming omega-3s, especially those from plant sources like organic hemp, can produce smooth and healthy looking skin.
One more way that hemp and its ingredients can aid your skin is by reducing redness and swelling as well as promoting a healthy response to inflammation — from the inside out. Hemp is now found in many skincare products; however, it works extremely well when taken internally. It can literally help your skin to look amazing.
Finding a Quality Hemp Extract
Research is very important – especially since the hemp market is becoming huge almost overnight. Seemingly every company has “the best”. Many companies just do not have in place the quality control processes that a more established herbal supplements manufacturer would.
Because of this it’s important to purchase the highest quality product to ensure your hemp extract contains the full spectrum of nutrients and phytocannabinoids that hemp is known for. What is a high-quality hemp extract look like? It will be certified organic, high-potency, full-spectrum and made from American-grown hemp.
Most full spectrum hemp oil or hemp extract products are actually made from the whole plant. This includes flowers, stalks, roots, seeds, and leaves. It will also use an extraction process that ensures you get a full rance of cannabinoids.
The hemp extract that we use and recommend at OAWHealth is a cold-processed, certified organic, full-spectrum, whole-plant hemp extract produced by a manufacture that we trust implicitly. Gluten-free, non-GMO, and always tested for purity and safety, it’s excellent for promoting a calm and relaxing feeling, encouraging restful sleep, and toning-down the fire of sore, aching joints.
Let me put in a plug for Organic Hemp Extract – Relaxation and Joint Relief formulated in a base of organic MCT oil and trace minerals. Personally, I’ve used many CBD hemp oils over the years and while a few of them have performed okay, none of them have toned-down joint irritation and soreness as well as Organic Hemp Extract does. It also works extremely well in providing a sense of calm – and these days, who doesn’t need that? My family uses Organic Hemp Extract and I highly recommend that you and your family give it a try. I believe you will be extremely happy with the results!
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Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. Published Feb 2012.
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